Every Thursday the hospital missionaries and volunteers (and any other Americans in the area) get together for a Bible study/worship time in one of the missionaries’ homes. Last night we met in Jane’s house (Jane is the hospital’s pharmacist) and had quite a crowd.
Dr. David and Laurel Fort are in town to help fill in during Dr. Faile’s absence. About 10 years ago, Dr. Fort was the surgeon at the hospital but now he is a psychiatrist living in Burkina Faso. Missionaries Dr. Peter and Ineke Van Dingenen and their four girls have been visiting all week from Burkina Faso. Peter is not only a skilled doctor but a skilled musician. He played piano and their eldest daughter accompanied on violin. Also present were Mark and Caroline Lueneburg, a couple working with the U.S. Peace Corps as teachers at the local secondary school.
The Van Dingenen family reminds me of the Von Trapps from Sound of Music (except they are Belgian and not Austrian). They were so talented with the music and were a great addition to the meeting. Apparently, Ineke’s grandfather Victor Gilsoul was a famous impressionist painter in the early 1900s and often did commissioned work for the king of Belgium.
Jane gave a short devotional based on a passage from Luke when Jesus “poured out his heart” to a widow and raised her son from the dead. The original Greek word is “splanchna” which literally means a wrenching of the intestines or gut. In Biblical times the gut, not the heart, was seen as the source of a person’s emotions. The work splanchna is used three times by Luke (a physician) to demonstrate the intensity of Christ’s heart-felt emotion. It is a powerful reminder of the depth of God’s compassion for us.